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Why is scratch baking so difficult? - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Couldn't agree more with what's been said in the posts above. Scratch baking is NOT difficult, it's simply a matter of taking the time to understand a few basic rules icon_biggrin.gif

- Have all your ingredients at room temperatur before you start
- Follow the recipe
- WEIGH your ingredients
- Learn what creaming, whisking, beating and folding means.

I love baking from scratch, it's relaxing and such a wonderful feeling when the cake comes out of the oven smelling delicious, but best of all to see the smiling faces of those that gets to eat the cake.
Of course it sometimes goes wrong, but so do many other things in life and you just have to try again until you've learned.

On a side note; I've just booked a trip to London in September where there's going to be a Cake & Bake Show, SOOOO exited icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Just keep baking birthday.gif
There is no better therapy than baking a cake - well, perhaps eating it.

Take care of the Earth, it's the only one we've got.
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There is no better therapy than baking a cake - well, perhaps eating it.

Take care of the Earth, it's the only one we've got.
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post #17 of 29
Scratch baking came natural to me. My grandmother is a baker, she sells dainties cookies etc at Farmer's Markets. She lives out in a small town, so whenever I would go visit growing up I would always help in the kitchen. Whether she was making brownies, ginger snap cookies(my fave lol) or cinnamon braid, she always let me help. I don't think I've ever used a box mix for anything I've baked. My mom used to like the "shortcut" way of making muffins, but everything else has always been from scratch.
One of my good girlfriends uses box mixes, and I think this is one of the reasons why I've never used them. But she asked me to help her bake a cake. I went over to her house, opened up the box mix and there were little tiny beetles crawling in the mix. YUCK! I've never even looked at a box mix since. Now I know it was just a coincidence probably (maybe a bad box), and I'm not bashing those who use them, but after that experience, I've always asked before eating a cake "Is this from scratch or a box?" If it's a box, I won't eat it. And once again, no offense to those who use them, that's just my experience with them.
post #18 of 29
Oh, and scratch baking is not difficult at all. Yes, it does take one bad recipe to turn you away if you're not used to it. But that's only ONE bad recipe. There are hundreds of good ones out there. Not that long ago I was looking for a new white cake recipe and I found one that was getting rave reviews. I followed the instructions and ingredients to a T. When it was cool, my boyfriend and I went to try a piece and it was like cornbread. Dry, crumbly and my boyfriend almost choked on it. I even took it out of the oven earlier than the stated time. (I think it said bake for 30 minutes, and I checked it at 18 and it was done)
But that didn't stop me, I went back and looked for another one and another one, until I found that perfect cake.
I love scratch baking, I don't think theres any other way....I don't know any other way icon_biggrin.gif
post #19 of 29
Scratch baking can be as challenging as you want to take it. Every week excellent scratch baker fail on Cupcake Wars. The ability to manipulate the ingredients and weigh all of the characteristics of each ingredient and their respective relationships to all other ingredients is quite an accomplishment. This is just one example.

To generalize that all scratch baking as easy is actually eliminating all complex recipes and all of the bakers who make the exhausting efforts to create the more advanced recipes.
post #20 of 29
If you learn scratch baking as a teenager, you retain that skill for the rest of your life.

Don't know why that should be. But I have never met a good scratch baker who started learning as an adult.

Scratch baking is as controllable as mix baking, IF you weigh everything and IF you use the relevant technique.
post #21 of 29
BakingIrene, I usually agree with you, but not on this one. I have worked with hundreds of CC members in PM's and in threads and they have started to master the skills of scratch baking. I outline a starting point, books to study, and good habits. I would like to think that anyone can learn the skill.

Of course the person must be the type who is precise, doesn't mind failure in the persuit of the skill. and who isn't afraid of a little math and science.

I would hate to think that I didn't have the ability to learn new skills. I can't tell you how many detailed skills I have learned as an adult. I am learning one now that is just as challenging as baking. My retail store has purchased the rights to coffee/cappuccino/espresso in an upscale location. I have never made coffee and don't even like it. But by December, I will have the best coffee in my area and right now I can't even get through the thousands of options for the machines... but I will.

It's a proven fact that learning new skills as an adult is the number one way to preserve your brain capacity as you age. My husband, a physician, chose to learn to play classical guitar in his 50's. We have my mom memorizing her beloved Bible as a brain activity.

Scratch baking is a dying art. We can use all of the converts we can get to love and learn this practice. Of course, start out easy and then the sky is the limit.

For anyone who has never scratch baked, I will guarantee that the $25.00 spent on Warren Brown's book can teach anyone at any age. In this type of book, it is important to actually read the book like a textbook to understand the importance of the method. This book is simple and a great start with recipes that will work for the novice. From there, a baker will have the skills to do a few adjustments and decipher good recipes from bad on the web. Most of all, the confidence of accomplishment will be a big incentive to move forward with the skill level.

In the past, I do believe what BakingIrene said was true. If we didn't learn it from our grandmothers, the knowledge was harder to come by. But with Cake Central and the many members who freely share, phenomenal books by extraordinary chefs, great bolgs by home bakers, coupled with youtube and the answer to everything on the web, this is no longer true.
post #22 of 29
I have always baked everything from scratch and I learned the basics from my grandmother at a young age. My working parents opted for convenience more than anything when it came to baking desserts, with the exception of pound cakes. Everyone in my family knows how to make our family's pound cake recipe, if nothing else. I grew up in a very large family with talented cooks but very few were actually interested in baking. I decided to pursue baking while in college, unfortunately that was after my maternal grandmother passed away (she suffered from alzheimer's for over 10 years). I lost her as a baking resource and decided to dedicate more of my time to scratch baking. I learn something new all the time. I constantly try different techniques and/or ingredients, some successes and a lot of failures but I learn from it all. There is a strong sense of satisfaction when you finally get it right using such basic ingredients. I think if my grandmother were alive, she would still strive to learn new baking techniques and refine the skills she already had. Scratch baking takes time to learn and dedication to truly "master" icon_biggrin.gif
I am a scratch baker working towards becoming a decorator, too Man, I hope practice really makes perfect
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I am a scratch baker working towards becoming a decorator, too Man, I hope practice really makes perfect
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post #23 of 29
I have'nt tried either one of these recipes but im have a cupcake order coming up and im gonna try the cupcake one here are the websites hope they help. Wwwfromscratchsf.wordpress.com www.cupcakeproject.com
post #24 of 29
Fromscratch's recipe is awesome thumbs_up.gif
I am a scratch baker working towards becoming a decorator, too Man, I hope practice really makes perfect
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I am a scratch baker working towards becoming a decorator, too Man, I hope practice really makes perfect
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post #25 of 29
I see on the cupcake website there are alot of cupcakes recipes to try from i was gonne try the Ultmate Vanilla cupcake recipe icon_biggrin.gif Happy Baking
post #26 of 29
I had been doing well with scratch recipes, except the SECOND time I tried fromscratchSF, from the blog. I baked and rebaked, and yes I measured EVERYTHING to a T. They all fell. Every cake. I now think that the humidity and my kitchen being hot (c/a was on but still 90 in the kitchen) was the culprit. I was scared to try it again, even though I had it work before, but I did. This time, it looks, right, settled a little in the middle but nothing major. Tomarrow I see how it tastes. Tasted a peice from leveling and seems fine. Some people would not have gone back to that recipe, but it irked me so bad all the failure, I just HAD to! Now I'm happy. And BTW I used 3 whole eggs instead of 5.0 oz egg whites, this time.
The worst critic is yourself.
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The worst critic is yourself.
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post #27 of 29
Jackie, could your oven have "jumped" out of calibration? That is usually how it happens, great one time and then everything is just not exactly right. Get an independent thermometer and see if that has happened. I hope this is it because it's a $5.00 fix. Good luck to you on this.
post #28 of 29
Glad it worked the 3rd time!

Believe me, I know how frustrating it is when you have a recipe that's great... then it isn't. You re-do, re-do, re-do and it doesn't work. Then one magical day, it does again and you have zero idea what changed.

Yay scratch bakers!
post #29 of 29
I am going to invest in an oven thermometer. I used to have one. I know I have a "hot spot" in my oven, so I try to avoid placing layer cakes in that area. Todays cake was just ok it was a little dry for me, and I took it out early (i pressed the top and it did not spring back, and tooth pick had crumbs) So I had hoped not to over bake. The texture was off a little, maybe because it was dry. I noticed at the baby shower the majority of people who had this one left peices of cake on their plates, everyone who had chocolate cake ate it all. So not sure what to do. It worked like a charm the very first time...
The worst critic is yourself.
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The worst critic is yourself.
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